Crowdfunding has changed over the past few years, and it’s harder than ever to compete in the space without a little extra help. Should you decide to partner with an agency, here’s what you should consider when shopping around.
Reasons to Partner with a Crowdfunding Agency
Crowdfunding is a great way to launch a new product to a community of early adopters who are willing to support startups and wait for their products to be delivered. But platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have changed a lot since they first started and it takes more than just a great idea to be successful.
That’s where agency partners can help. If you’ve done even a little bit of research, you’ll notice a number of options when it comes to promoting and supporting your crowdfunding campaign. Each will offer something different, and at a different price. It can become overwhelming.
We’ve created a handy guide to help you prepare for crowdfunding. Should you decide to partner with an agency, here’s what you should consider when shopping around.
What Services Should You Look For?
Fact: Many of the things needed to run a successful crowdfunding campaign are possible on your own. They take time and knowledge but are achievable. Anyone can run ads, take pictures of a prototype and create a video. Anyone can send out emails and reach out to members of the media.
So why hire an agency? Agencies have institutional knowledge that enables them to adapt quickly to the specific needs of your campaign. The expertise agencies bring to your campaign allows you to benefit from lessons they learned on other campaigns.. Some agencies will offer an array of services, while others will be more specialized. At Enventys Partners, we have helped thousands of startups and offer all of the services below to our clients. Here’s what you should consider and expect before making an investment in any agency.
Running a successful campaign from start to finish isn’t as easy as you might think. What types of graphics, badges and banners do backers respond to? What is the best way to structure your rewards and add-ons? How often should you communicate with backers, and what should you say? An agency with experience will be able to offer insights that help you earn the support of more backers, and turn them into a loyal following.
Video and Photography
High-quality videos and photos can make the campaign page stand out from the rest. If you’ve ever tried to take photos on your own (and you’re not a trained photographer) odds are you’ve been humbled by just how difficult it is to capture everything you want in a single shot. A good agency partner will be able to list out the photo and video assets needed for the page and help produce the content. Many agencies contract these services out, but fees are included in the overall service packages. Be sure to ask for examples of recent campaign videos and photography.
Pre-launch Lead Generation
There’s important work to be done before you ever press the launch button. In choosing an agency to make sure you have a successful launch day, you’ll want to ask them about their pre-launch strategies. These can include advertising and email marketing that prepare potential backers and audiences for your campaign and build anticipation and excitement. Curious how many leads you need? This interactive calculator will help you get a better idea of where you need to be before pressing launch.
Anyone can run ads. But if you want your ads to convert people into backers, it takes an expert. A good agency will be able to share with you what metrics they look for to ensure success and articulate the types of strategies they test to ensure the right combination of advertisements reaches your target market. It’s not enough to put up an ad and hope for the best. A good agency should be able to elaborate on how they spend your money and why.
At Enventys Partners, we ensure you reach your target audiences and adhere to new privacy standards by making sure domains and conversion events are properly set up on Facebook. We also have several proprietary software tools we’ve developed over time, to expand upon the capabilities that Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Facebook provide on their own. These help us more accurately gauge performance, and tailor our ad campaigns to maximize sales. We also have three Facebook Success Stories, more than any agency in Crowdfunding.
In pre-launch, Facebook ads are used to generate email leads. How those leads are nurtured before launch, and during the campaign contributes to reaching goals and creating a thriving community of supporters. Enventys Partners is a Mailchimp Pro Partner and has a team of certified experts who understand the ins and outs of successful email marketing. When considering a partner, ask about how they measure their success and what processes they have in place to promote your campaign.
Content Marketing and Copywriting
You’re passionate about your idea, but can you communicate it clearly? A good partner agency will be able to distill down the unique selling points for your product and create compelling messages that spotlight those features. Building graphics for your campaign page that are informative and interesting is a challenge. Check out campaigns the agency you’re considering is working on. Do you like their designs? Ask them about their process in ensuring your campaign stands out above the rest with its messaging.
Outside of advertising, public relations is another way to create awareness about your product and campaign. Working with the media is more challenging than ever, so it’s important to have a partner who understands the changing media landscape and can leverage relationships and experience to earn coverage for your campaign. Any agency that guarantees placements should be viewed with caution. Press is never guaranteed, but there are ways to engage the media thoughtfully to encourage coverage and set your business up for short and long-term success.
Like public relations, influencer marketing can be part of an effective communications strategy. There are agencies dedicated solely to this practice, and others who incorporate it into their strategies where appropriate. The truth is, influencer marketing isn’t for every campaign. It’s a hybrid of public relations and advertising in that influencers require compensation for their skills, time, and effort used to promote your product. They also require product samples in their hands to generate their own creative assets. An agency should be able to discuss with you how they’d identify influencers, and what you might expect to pay to leverage them.
What’s the Investment?
Now that you know the variety of services an agency can offer you, you’re probably wondering what that will cost. The answer: it varies.
Marketing agencies often operate using commission-only contracts that reduce a creator’s upfront costs. This might be enticing, however, these commission structures can really add up after the campaign is over, sometimes as much as half of your funding.
Public Relations or Influencer Marketing agencies often charge steep one-time fees or retainers. They generally won’t operate on tracked sales commissions, because journalists often refuse to include tracking links in their coverage.
Piecemealing services from a variety of agencies are possible, but it’s likely to cost you significantly more in the long run. Consider bundling services from a reputable agency with experience in several of the areas you’d like help.
What are the Numbers?
For full-service needs including advertising, email marketing, campaign management, copywriting and public relations, agencies generally charge an upfront fee and commissions. The upfront fee helps cover the startup time and effort needed to generate assets and messaging, while commissions incentivize innovative thinking for additional success. At Enventys Partners, we offer several packages of services that we find suit most creators. On the low end, as little as $3,000 to $5,000 can enlist advertising support for your campaign. Comprehensive campaign management, digital marketing and photo or video creation can cost upwards of $35,000.
Support from Enventys Partners
Our full-service capabilities allow us to handle every step of the process completely in-house. If you’re interested in learning more about how Enventys Partners can help you succeed, we’d love to connect with you.
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